anand84 - 5:46 pm on May 10, 2010 (gmt 0)
I'm not saying Google searches went down by a third. I'm saying that
[LONGTAIL searches] x [SERP CTR] = down by between 10-50%
And I'm further saying that longtail reduced because of a specific reason. Namely, that historically people refined their searches, resulting in longtail. Now they stay on Google property, using Google innovations for refinement, rather than adding or changing keywords.
CTR would be reduced for the same reason- people "keep clicking" on refinements, rather than critically evaluating the PSERP and deciding it's returning the "right answer". In other words, instead of checking "is this what I wanted" by inspecting results, users are checking "is there any better suggestions on left-hand navigation" REGARDLESS of the 'fitness' of the results.
Still doesn't explain why people lost traffic overnight and in batches (I belong to the batch of March 14).
It's nice to see some people seeing improvements. As for myself, I'm still seeing numbers decreasing by the day. :-(